PlayStation 5 Sales are Already Slowing

Posted on February 2, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in PlayStation with 16 Comments

As part of its latest quarterly earnings report, Sony revealed that it sold 3.9 million PlayStation 5 consoles, for a total of 17.3 million. The firm had sold over 20 million PlayStation 4 consoles by this time in its history, but that console didn’t face the same component shortages.

Sony reported a net income of $346 million on revenues of $3 billion for the quarter ending December 31, 2021. $813 million of those revenues came from its Game & Network Services business unit, a drop of 70 percent year-over-year (YOY). All of Sony’s other major units grew in the quarter.

“Total gameplay time of PlayStation users in December 2021 was 20 percent lower than the same month of the previous year, which was immediately after the release of the PS5, but gameplay time increased approximately 7% from December 2019,” Sony noted. “For a quarter in which there were only a few major titles released, we think this was solid performance.”

In its report, Sony noted that it had decreased the “strategic price points for PlayStation 5 hardware, [which] were set lower than manufacturing costs,” indicating that it is again moving towards making its hardware business profitable. But a decrease in sales of first-party game titles, add-on content, peripherals, and PS4 hardware contribute to the lower results.

In the year-ago quarter, Sony sold 4.5 million PS5s, along with 1.4 million PS4s. So this quarter represents a big drop-off, YOY; the firm sold only 0.2 million PS4s in the most recent quarter, along with those 3.9 million PS5s. Looking ahead, the firm has revised its PS5 sales expectations for FY 2022 downward to 11.5 million units because of the supply chain issues.

On the services front, Sony now has 48 million PlayStation Plus subscribers, unchanged from the year-ago quarter.  Sony also noted that it has 111 million monthly active users on PlayStation, up slightly YOY.

Among Sony’s best-selling first-party titles in the quarter, only a handful—Ghost of Tsushima Director’s Cut, Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, Returnal, and Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart—were available in PS5-specific versions. 9 of them were available in PS4-specific versions.

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Comments (16)

16 responses to “PlayStation 5 Sales are Already Slowing”

  1. crunchyfrog

    The fact that YOY PlayStation Plus subscribers appears stagnant is not a good sign. Perhaps the screws that Microsoft has put into gaming are really starting to take hold.

    • Sugar Jungle

      Yeah, that number stood out to me as well. I'm interested to how dramatic the rumored plus changes are.

    • rob_segal

      Xbox Live Gold subscriber numbers are probably stagnant at best with subscribers signing up for GamePass. PS Now subscription numbers are more interesting to me.

    • zeromus2003

      Absolutely not.... Sony is doing well except for dealing with scalper/bots and supply constraints.

  2. sharps

    Won't buy another playstation (4 is the only one I have owned). Their system for family accounts adding money to child accounts is horribly painful to use.

  3. Donte

    I used to buy both, Xbox and PS. Now with so many changes, GamePass getting so good, especially on the PC, forced cross play in almost all new games and Sony porting more and more games to the PC I will not buy another PS. I doubt I will buy another Xbox either to be honest. PC is the BEST place to play video games.

    • christianwilson

      I used to buy both as well but last generation I didn't buy a PlayStation and I don't plan to this generation, either. Other priorities prevent me from having the time and money to keep up that pace. I settled on just going Xbox a few years ago and I'm happy with that decision.

      I don't disagree with you on the PC, though. A good gaming PC opens up access to almost everything you'd possibly want to play.

  4. marcosv

    How does supply issue factor into the lower PS5 sales? I still can't find a PS5 at the local store.

    • zeromus2003

      Exactly, the issue is with supply. I love Microsoft, but the console everybody is seeking/wanting is the PS5 and that is a fact! Each week I think the process of getting a PS5 would be better, but sadly no. We still live in the world where you have to be on Discords or follow idiots on Twitter for stock drops that usually crash upon checkout. The whole thing is ridiculous. Why can't retailers take a deposit, put your name down for a queue, and call/arrange pick up when it comes in???!? Now the whole process of buying Consoles, GPUs, etc has to be some grand RNG event! I really miss the pre-Covid days of purchasing and I say that as someone who loves progress/technology. Its just I am afraid that this is going to be the standard process for buying highly sought after items. The scalpers can have them and I hope their stock rots over time with 4 inches of dust due to no sales! Also for those that think the PS5 is irrelevant, how do you propose to play Horizon Forbidden West w/o either a 5 or a PS4 Pro?? Eventually it will be on PC, but in about 3 years.... too long to wait. Sony still wins with their exclusives, period!

      • crunchyfrog

        I share your frustration, and to add to this insanity, the retailers are cashing in by forcing customers to pay for annual memberships to get a better chance at exclusive inventory when it arrives.

        Until buyers reach a point where they all collectively refuse to buy from scalpers, this problem won't go away.

    • David Berk

      It is THE factor. They sell every one they make.

  5. nbplopes

    I see PS5 nowhere around here. Can’t be bothered look at stock or make a pre-order for months to get one.

    Let’s say they are suppose to be more interested to sell than me to buy. Which is exactly the case in my realm … always.

    Best of luck.

  6. clutem1987

    I picked mine up using PlayStation Direct. But yeah you still can’t find it retail. Which is no doubt hurting their sales.

  7. SenorGravy

    I think it is absolutely bonkers that, supply chain/pandemic issues notwithstanding, that we are almost 1 1/2 years into this console release and I still haven't seen a PS5 or an XBSX in physical form on a store shelf.

  8. thretosix

    Well maybe if the sales are slowing they will actually be available. The PS5 is something I will buy when I can go to the store and pick one up. At least with Microsoft you can sign up for an All Access plan that will guarantee you a console. Feel quite lucky I got my Series X at launch.